When you think of strength training, yoga might not be the first thing you think of — but you should!

If you've ever tried yoga, you have probably asked yourself the question:


There’s many different styles of yoga, and I feel all styles are amazing. But, my favorite style of yoga, what I LOVE to teach and what has helped me develop strength is vinyasa flow. I have been practicing and teaching vinyasa flow three to four times a week for seven years, and I can honestly say my yoga practice has strengthened my entire body in a way that I could not have attained through “lifting weights” in the gym. I know this because … I used to lift weights. I haven’t lifted a “heavy weight” in ten years. I do barre and yoga only, and I am stronger and my muscle is “leaner” than when I was lifting weights. Plus, yoga and barre classes are much more enjoyable, to me, than lifting weights by myself or with a trainer.

So my answer is from my own experience: "Yes!, you definitely can build muscle with yoga.”

Let me explain how:

Yoga is both body weight training and muscle regeneration. You bring your body into positions and orientations where your muscles need to support you such as downward dog, triangle pose and side plank pose. These are just a few of the yoga poses that require significant strength.

See? You are lifting weights – your own body weight! The great thing about yoga is that you also activate those little muscles you may not see but which make you stand tall and hold all the poses.   I plan to blog about barre soon - but if you have attended a barre class, you know that we work one side and then move to the other side in various positions – standing, kneeling, arm balancing – again, using your “own body weight.”

Here are a few reasons why yoga can be a more balanced way to get strong:

• You train all muscles in a well-balanced way, the smaller and bigger ones at the same time, while with weight training you often only train one muscle group at any given time.

• Yoga can help you to perform better the whole day: walking, sitting, bending, lifting heavy things and even sleeping. You move your body in all directions with twists and rotations and not just back and forth. This mobilizes your muscles and joints, keeps them strong and prevents pain.

• It can increase muscle endurance because you hold the poses for a longer period of time in a yoga class.

As you can see, yoga is a good way to build strong and defined muscles. It strengthens your whole body and connects it with your mind, which – to me – is the most important thing.

So, don’t be shy, scared or intimidated about beginning yoga. At The Yoga Barre we have gentle yoga for beginners, hour flow and vinyasa flow , yoga barre fusion and PiYo for those who have had “some” yoga classes. The best piece of advice I can give about beginning your yoga practice or progressing further into your yoga practice is to STAY CONSISTENT! One of my favorite quotes is by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, “Practice and all is coming.”

If you are new to The Yoga Barre, look for our new client offer – 14 days of unlimited classes for $37. If you are attending classes at The Yoga Barre, make sure you are incorporating yoga into your schedule. Yoga and barre complement each other perfectly :)




Reflection, Gratitude and Excitement

Over the past week, I have been reflecting on the journey of The Yoga Barre. It is unbelievable how much the studio has grown from its very humble start.

I want to personally thank everyone who voted The Yoga Barre Best Yoga, Barre & Pilates studio in the 2019 Sun Herald People’s Choice awards. It is such an honor to receive first place for the second year in a row. Your support has blown me away. Along this beautiful journey, I have met so many amazing people and have made so many lifelong friendships. I really do believe the quote “Love what you do, and you will never work a day in your life.” I look forward to every day at the studio and talking and visiting and teaching each of you.


I want to thank my dedicated, passionate teachers for helping make the studio what it has become - a beautiful community of like-minded people connecting with each other, improving their health and enjoying themselves. Carrie Miller, Christina Pike, Sharon Gargiulo, Rachel Smith and Brittany Simmons, each of you are exceptional women and outstanding teachers. These amazing women work full-time in their careers, have families and make time to teach at the studio because they love teaching and are passionate about health and fitness. And, they seem to do all of this effortlessly.

One of the blessings of owning the studio is that I get to attend classes taught by these amazing teachers. I am continually inspired by them. This weekend, I attended Carrie’s barre class, which was so good and hard! And then I got to follow it up with Brittany’s hour flow yoga class, which helped “some” of the soreness from setting in immediately after Carrie’s class. LOL! I wanted to do Christina’s barre class but knew there was no way I could do three back-to-back classes! My body was talking to me and it said - “NO!” We stress listening to your body at the studio. If you have attended any of my classes, you have most likely heard me say, “You do you,” which is one of my ways of saying “listen to your body.” Was I able to do everything in Carrie’s class? No. Did I modify and change up my weights? Yes - my shoulder is still recovering from helping my daughter put together her IKEA bed. Did anyone care that I didn’t do everything perfectly, with 5 pound weights and not break in chair at the barre? No. Did Carrie think less of me? No. So, if you have any hesitation about coming to the studio because you are concerned you ”won’t be able to do everything,” you’re “not fit enough,” you need to “lose weight first” or you’re ”not flexible enough to do yoga,” please put those negative thoughts on a shelf and leave them there. Myself, as well as The Yoga Barre team of teachers would love to meet you and have the opportunity to show you why The Yoga Barre was voted Best Yoga, Barre and Pilates studio️ for a second year .




(Photo Heather Gillich)


"Starting Where You Are"

“Starting Where You Are”

Happy New Year Everyone!! If you’re reading this, you most likely saw the video recently posted on our social media sites.  With the start of the new year, I saw this video as a great opportunity to share my own yoga journey and how the practice has transformed my life and lead me to where I am today.   I cannot tell you how many times I have heard,  “I can’t do yoga.  I’m not flexible or strong enough.”  If you take anything away from this blog post, I want you to know that yoga truly is for EVERYONE. 

Yoga is a personal experience that anyone can begin at any stage of their lives. It does not matter what age you are, what past injuries you have, or any other doubts filling your head. When I took my very first yoga class, I was 38 years old, and I had many doubts.  I was very much your typical “beginner case.”  I knew NOTHING about yoga.   And, at the time, I was battling some injuries that I just could not heal no matter what I tried or what doctor I saw.   One day, I came across an article that really caught my attention. The article went into depth on the healing benefits that yoga can bring to a person both mentally and physically, which is what lead me to try my first class.

Walking into class, I was nervous but I thought , “Well, I have nothing to lose.  If I don’t like it, I don’t have to take another class.”   Being the “total beginner” that I was, my first class was a class that was beyond my level.   It wasn’t a beginner class.   It was hard!   I was sweating!   I didn’t know the names of the poses!   But I made it through the class and left the class thinking, “Wow, even thought I was lost, that was amazing!”  I immediately recognized that the practice offered limitless benefits.  However, I did research the class levels before I signed up for my next class and found a “beginner class,” which suited my level much better.  LOL! 

My yoga practice didn’t “happen overnight.”   It developed over years and with consistent practice.  Did I fall?   Yes.  Did I struggle?  Yes.  But as my practice developed, I recognized changes that I liked – both mentally and physically.  I was becoming stronger, and my injuries were improving.   Mentally, I was calmer, which gave me more patience with myself and allowed me to “lighten up” on myself and let my practice evolve.  I was getting stronger and improving.   

As I attended classes consistently, I only became more interested in the details of the practice. I began to feel like I needed something more. I wanted to know more, and I wanted to practice more so I knew it was time to attend teacher training.  Upon entering the training, I had no intention of ever teaching.  I simply just wanted to become more knowledgeable about the practice.   After completing the training and becoming a 200 hour Registered Yoga Teacher through Yoga Alliance, the teaching aspect found me. Because parts of my life were transformed through practicing yoga, I realized that I did have the desire to teach and to share the benefits of yoga with others. I wanted to bring people to the practice and help them experience a transformation similar to what I had experienced.   In a roundabout way, my yoga practice lead me to the discovery of barre fitness.  Like yoga, I can’t imagine my life without barre!   I love doing and teaching barre. I truly believe yoga and barre complement each other very well.

So, today, January 1, 2019, as I am looking back on my very humble yoga beginning,  I never imagined in my wildest dreams that I would ever own a studio!  I also never imagined that I would post a video of me doing yoga!   The video was created by my daughter, Heather Gillich.  Her exact words to me were, “Mom, you should post this.   You’ve gotten so much better than when you started practicing upstairs at the old house.”  LOL!      

Wishing you all the best in the new year!



November Teacher Feature - Sharon Gargiulo

NAME: Sharon Gargiulo

doTERRA Wellness Advocate

Aromatouch Technique Certified

RYT-200 Yoga Alliance

CLASSES YOU TEACH: Gentle Yoga and Private Classes

What are your pre and post workout foods?

Pre-Workout Food:

I like to keep it super light before a workout so I will usually have a protein shake with fruit, blueberries, mango, strawberries, kiwi or whatever fruit I have. I always add a few drops of DDR Prime, which is a proprietary blend of essential oils, to the-protein shake. This helps support my energy level throughout the workout and aids in quick muscle and joint recovery so I'm not achy or sore after a workout.

Post Workout Food:

Eggs and hashbrowns are my all-time favorite, or a breakfast taco with eggs and spinach. However, if I'm running or doing a second class, I will have Grapenuts or granola mixed with Noosa yogurt - key lime is one of my favorites! I also love the Irish Oatmeal topped with almonds, blueberries and raspberries.

Favorite Food:

This is really hard because I love it all! My husband is an awesome cook so he's always surprising me with his creations! If we are going out to eat, I love sushi and Indian food.

Favorite Workout Gear:

Lululemon. I have the first ever classic Lululemon black yoga pants. They have lasted me for years. I believe they may be vintage! Flare bottoms bought in Berkley, California!

Favorite Workout:

Of course, yoga is my first love!

Favorite way to relax

A walk on the beach.

Favorite TV Show, NetFlix:

What TV? I don't watch TV. I prefer to read everything and anything I can get my hands on!

Favorite color

Periwinkle blue and orange!


Two dogs: A Chocolate lab "Athena" and a White lab "Atlas". Both are rescues!


Six children and six grandsons! Yep, that's an even dozen which is another reason I don't have time for TV. I do a lot of Facetime, though.

What’s on your Playlist:

Santum Kaar, James Taylor, and Classical Jazz (Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, Dave Brubeck, Charles Bolden, and Art Blakey)


I had this amazing yoga teacher, Kate Coughlin, in Pleasanton, California. She had watched me come to her yoga class for three years, rather inconsistently I might add, and usually when I was recovering from some injury. One day when I was in her class, she asked me to stay after so she could talk to me. She said, "Sharon, I have been watching you for the past few years and think it's time you did the advanced studies to become a yoga teacher!” I said, “WHAT? Are you nuts? This is the worst time ever. I am going through a divorce. I have a herniated disc and a torn rotator cuff, plus a major fear of being in front of people!” She smiled at me and said, “That's why you will some day make a great teacher because you will have learned that bullying your body is not honoring who you are. Being consistent and really understanding yoga and its benefits will help you and eventually allow you to help others get through the bumps.” She believed I could and so I did.


I love watching the changes as clients get more confident and stronger in mind and body, when they have that “A-HA” moment that yoga is more than asana or an exercise, the “flipping on” of the switch that allows them to be in tune with their breath and movement, watching them grow and be empowered in the NOW and quieting '"the monkey brain," if only for an hour or so! I love seeing them grow into that awareness.


Well, first off, I know that I have to put my mask on before I can help anyone else. It’s just like they tell you every time you fly - PUT YOUR OXYGEN MASK ON FIRST. I use my yoga breathing techniques that I have learned. I also use the DDR Prime essential oil blend in my water and drink tons of it to lift me up. I will find an essential oil, such as bergamot, and diffuse it, drink it and smell it!!! Listen to Santum Kaar and do a few sun salutations! If that doesn't do the trick, I rest in shavasana for 15 minutes, pop a few almonds and a handful of spinach, and I am usually good to go! I really do pay attention and ask myself WHY I am feeling that way and what can I do to make it better!


I want them to feel empowered and to know that they are enough just as they are right here and now!


Take what you want and leave the rest! Have fun! It's YOGA!

You can find Sharon teaching gentle yoga at 4:00 pm on Mondays at The Yoga Barre. Sharon has a wealth of knowledge about doTerra Essential oils and aromatouch technique, and we look forward to her sharing her knowledge with us in a special section in the studio and on our website and social media sites very soon :)


"I can't do yoga because I'm not flexible."


As a yoga teacher, I cannot tell you how many times I have heard this statement so I thought I’d delve into the topic of “flexibility.” Have you ever wondered why some people are effortlessly flexible and others stretch consistently and see little to no change?

Well, our flexibility is determined by two things – our muscles and our bones.  Have you ever been told in yoga that if you practice every day, one day you’ll be able to touch your toes or have your heels touch the floor in downward dog or be able to do the splits?  Well, this isn’t always true.

We are able to improve our flexibility and mobility by stretching regularly; however, we don’t have control over the shape of our bones. Our bodies are unique in so many ways, and our skeleton is no exception.  For example, some people have deep hip sockets and some people have more shallow hip sockets, which allow for more flexibility in that joint.  Maybe you have experienced this with a frustratingly flexible friend who has done little to no yoga and immediately pops into down dog with heels completely flat on the floor while your heels are still off the floor even though you have been consistently practicing!  There could be a couple of reasons for this: one, you might have tight hamstrings (another topic) or, two, that due to the anatomical makeup of your ankle joint, it’s just not possible for your heels to reach the floor.  And, you know what?  That’s okay!   Keep working YOUR own down dog.  Listen to your body.   Listen to your teacher for alignment tips.   Remember that more flexibility isn’t always better.  Just because your heels do not touch the floor in down dog or your hands don’t touch the floor in forward fold, doesn’t mean you are “not good in yoga.”  We don’t like comparisons in yoga, and that is why we like to cover the mirrors in our yoga classes at The Yoga Barre. 

Moving your body is a gift.  Celebrate this!   So, we’d like to let go of the worn out statement, “I can’t do yoga because I’m not flexible.”  Try a yoga class to get a taste of what you’re missing.   

We’d love to have you in any of our classes at The Yoga Barre.  Our Yoga Basics series begins 4:00 pm, Sunday, October 7 and will be held for six consecutive Sundays.   Amanda Walley, Kripalu trained yoga teacher, 200 hour RYT, will be teaching this series. We are honored to have her join our team. 

 Follow us on Facebook and Instagram and check out our website for more information about the studio.    



Why Consistent Healthy Habits are Crucial for Good Health

Why Consistent Healthy Habits are Crucial for Good Health

Bad habits can be hard to break, but consistently making the right choices for your health and lifestyle will replace your bad habits with good ones. You are what you do, and consistent planning, scheduling, and sticking to a healthy diet, sleep, and exercise routines can quickly turn your health around for the better. At The Yoga Barre, we’re not a gym. We believe in a holistic approach to health and fitness. Below are some of the habits you can incorporate into your schedule to get yourself back in shape and feeling good. 

Get Adequate Sleep

American adults are some of the most sleep-deprived people on the planet. Sleep deprivation not only causes daytime drowsiness and mental fog, but it can also increase the risk of accidents and lead to weight gain. When your body doesn’t get its energy from sleep and rest, it will get energy elsewhere, usually in the form of calorie dense foods. Without proper sleep, you are at risk of succumbing to unhealthy food cravings. 

Adults should get between seven and eight hours per night of uninterrupted sleep to feel refreshed and maintain a healthy weight. Studies show that watching TV or reading on a digital device can throw your circadian rhythms out of whack. Try to limit screen time in the final hours before bed so you can fall asleep quicker, and limit any caffeine at least six hours before bedtime. Getting exercise during the day in the form of yoga, barre and PiYo classes can help you feel relaxed enough in the evenings to fall asleep. 

Eat a Clean Diet

Eliminate processed foods, and cut back on refined sugars and carbs. If it comes in a package or can, it’s best to avoid it. Try to eat whole foods, and get plenty of fruits and vegetables in your diet every day.   And drink your water!

Make a Plan

You’re more likely to stick to healthy habits and lifestyle changes if you make a plan first. Planning can help you think more clearly and see where you need to make any changes. Consider planning out healthy meals in advance, so you aren’t tempted to snack or grab fast food. Plus, you can take control of your time and your schedule with a plan in place. 

Stick to Appointments

It’s crucial that you make time in your plans for scheduling classes at The Yoga Barre. Consistency with class attendance will help you reach your goals even faster. Make a habit of consistently attending yoga, barre, and PiYo classes, and you’ll reap the benefits of a fit and healthy lifestyle. 

While making an effort to get adequate sleep and eat a healthy diet will dramatically improve the quality of your life, it’s not enough. Consistently making appointments and attending class at The Yoga Barre will take your health to the next level. You’ll get in shape and also look and feel great. Contact The Yoga Barre today and begin the habit of consistently scheduling your yoga, barre, and PiYo classes.


The Benefits of Yoga and Barre Classes

The Benefits Of Yoga And Barre Classes

The positive feelings – and results – of a good yoga and barre class are unmatched.    Yoga and barre complement each other very well.   At The Yoga Barre, we have designed our weekly class schedule so our clients get cardio, strength and flexibility in a very comfortable and motivating setting.      

Are yoga and barre classes just a fad?  Absolutely not.   Yoga has been around for 5,000 years – yes, 5,000 years!   Safe to say it’s here to stay.  Barre is “relatively new” to our area but has been around for many, many years.  At The Yoga Barre, our barre method is Barre Intensity, which combines elements of yoga, Pilates, dance and functional fitness into one great, low impact workout.  The best of everything in one workout – definitely here to stay!

Not sure if barre or yoga is right for you? Here are a few of the health benefits you can enjoy by participating in yoga or barre classes with our certified instructors:

1. Increased Flexibility

Yoga is incredible for increasing your flexibility.  Even if you’re just a beginner, the poses that you do in yoga are a fantastic way to stretch out your muscles, and improve your flexibility. Better flexibility can help you in a number of ways – from improving your posture, to better performance when running or undertaking other athletic activities, and even reducing your risk of an athletic injury.

Barre also helps with flexibility. The isometric “micro-movements” used in barre classes help strengthen muscles and make them more flexible simultaneously – making it a wonderful full-body workout.

 2. Strengthens And Tones Muscles

 If you want long, lean muscle, barre and yoga are both ideal choices. Barre helps strengthen your muscles and adds muscle tone without adding excessive bulk, which makes it a fantastic choice if you are looking to get stronger without lifting weights, or using weight machines.

Yoga is also a fantastic way to strengthen your muscles. The isometric exercises used in more advanced poses activate multiple muscles groups at once, and help you build up your entire body.  And because yoga also helps you stretch and become more flexible, you’ll be able to use your strength to its fullest potential.

Together, barre and yoga can help you achieve a healthy body.  You’ll have the strength you need, and will be able to develop toned and leaned muscle without excess bulk.

3. Improves Cardiovascular And Aerobic Performance

 Barre is an intense workout that combines both light, high repetition weight and cardiovascular training into a single session. You’ll be breathing hard by the end of it – and the cardio workout of barre helps you increase the efficiency of your cardiovascular system, and burn quite a few calories simultaneously.  That’s a win-win!

And although yoga is not nearly as intense on the cardiovascular system, it does have a large impact on your aerobic performance. Yoga is all about breath control, and understanding your own body. As you continue to practice yoga, you will develop a much better mind-body connection, and feel more confident in your aerobic capacity, and your level of cardiovascular fitness.

Interested? Give Yoga And Barre A Try Today!

At The Yoga Barre, we offer vinyasa flow yoga, gentle yoga, Barre Intensity, and PiYo classes – and we’re always accepting new students.  So whether you’re interested in the mind-body enhancing power of yoga, the cardiovascular and muscular benefits of barre – or both – we’d love to hear from you!   You can find our class schedule and pricing options on our website –